2020 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
c1956 Vespa Fender Light 125cc Scooter
|Engine||125cc single cylinder|
This lot is no longer available
The Vespa has become something of a cult object, worshipped by enthusiasts around the world and thoroughly transcending the original design brief to provide cheap transportation to millions of Italians. Popularised using clever marketing and an association with celebrities, the Vespa is perhaps best remembered for its role in the movie ‘Roman Holiday’ starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The Vespa has become the Godfather of scooters and can be found on pavements outside the hippest cafes and bars today, thanks to this revival of interest. Vespa, when translated, means ‘wasp’ and this was the label applied by Enrico Piaggio to his scooters when they first appeared in 1942, both for their appearance and the buzzing noise of the two-stroke engine. Production of the Vespa was quickly in full swing, capitalising on the post-war economic boom in Italy, and sales had surpassed one million units by 1956. The 125 first appeared in 1948 with bigger brakes, more comfortable suspension and of course, the larger and more powerful engine. The handlebars themselves were now mounted in an anti-vibration support and the gearbox operated by flexible cables instead of a rod linkage. Two models of the 125 were sold, the basic 125U, or utilitarian version, which lacked any chrome embellishments, and the more refined Model 53. A classic Vespa scooter makes an ideal choice of commuter vehicle, being reliable, easy, and cheap to maintain but with loads of style.